We had the good fortune of connecting with Miranda Kahn and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Miranda, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I’m from Berkeley California which was definitely a zaney and free thinking place to grow up! But more importantly I come from a lineage of artists. My grandparents were both painters, both WPA Federal Arts Project artists, their life was art. They loved family and friends and their artistic work. The bottom floor of their apartment was their studio -a big industrial space filled with collected artifacts from their imaginative lives. My father is an architect and lives his life with a creative eye, my mother captures the beauty and pain of life through her camera lens, my sister creates incredibly detailed beaded necklace works of art. My aunt dances and her work blurs the boundary of dance, theater, and clowning-it’s both hilarious to watch and breaks your heart. My uncles are singers and artists and my cousins are singers, filmmakers, healers…they have all deeply impacted my life and my work. I am so inspired by them and they have created the fabric of my artistry.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a paper artist and stop motion animator. I started out as a little kid making pop up cards and -really anything- out of paper. Once I made a full outfit out of paper, another time a vacuum cleaner complete with all the attachments. I think what I loved about it is that I had the power to make whatever I wanted-it felt limitless. And I still feel that sense of limitless when I look at a blank piece of paper. I make very detailed paper silhouette creations with hundreds of tiny cuts made with an xacto knife. I have a background in acting and at one point I was asked to make a shadow puppetry piece for an original theater performance. It brought together my love of performing and paper art. When I went to grad school I was lucky enough to take stop motion and puppetry classes and they solidified my love of paper puppetry and got me started using stop motion to animate my work. I love the hand made feel of stop motion and how it brings to life the inanimate in such a magical way.
I am passionate about social justice and mental health awareness and I love to work on projects that shed light on stigmas.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well I love LACMA, we would have to make a trip to the Huntington Gardens and Getty museum. Favorite restaurants include Silverlake Ramen and Night+ Market Song. We would stop by The Museum of Jurassic Technology and get an ice cream at Salt and Straw!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’m so grateful to my mentors-Alice Saltzman made me feel like an artist, Alithea Phillips showed me how hard work in the pursuit of artistic passion can be joyful and rewarding, Annie Elias made me fall in love with creating my own stories; Janie Geiser challenged me to appreciate objects for their own beauty and mystery; Nanou Matteson cultivated my sense of artistic hope and ownership. I am so grateful to these woman, they have shaped me, inspired me and shown me compassion and kindness, I am more grateful than I can express. And at the top of my to thank list are my parents, Noah and Victoria, who have been my biggest supporters and cheerleaders and inspirations. And my fiancé Dimitri who replenishes me always.